What's hypnotherapy all about?
Hypnotherapy is fast becoming more widely recognised as a valuable therapy with more and more people becoming aware of its vast array of benefits. However, something which has been apparent to me for a long time is that there still seems to be a lack of understanding about what hypnotherapy is and how it can help us.
Many people hold the misconception that hypnotherapy is the same as stage hypnosis which is used for entertainment value. I have lost count of the number of times people have asked if i would be making them cluck like a chicken at the mere mention of hypnosis! Stage hypnosis is of course a form of hypnotism, however the 'therapy' in hypnotherapy sets it apart from stage hypnosis in many ways.
Hypnotherapy is very much about putting people back in control, as opposed to many people's perception of it being more about 'mind control'! Can you imagine the power hypnotists would have if they were able to control someone's mind against their will? It would certainly be in the media much more often than it currently is! A hypnotherapist can only ever help someone to do something that they are willing, or even more importantly, want to do. Within a hypnotherapy session, even within the 'hypnotic trance' you would be capable of getting up half way through if you felt that you didn't want to continue. The person using hypnotherapy is in control at all times and in fact, the hypnotherapist is helping them to take back control over their fears, habits, anxieties or whatever else it is they are seeking help with.
Most hypnotherapists work on a one to one basis in a private, comfortable setting. They use techniques to encourage a relaxed state then use methods best suited to the individual, helping them to reach their desired goals. Most people find their sessions to be very pleasant and enjoyable, giving them a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and re-teaching a largely forgotten skill, the ability to relax.
Hypnotherapy works directly with the unconscious or subconscious mind. Of course our mind is one whole mind, though it is split into conscious and unconscious, with many complexities within each. The unconscious mind is the part of us which drives our emotions, feelings, thoughts and behaviours amongst other things. With many issues we face such as anxiety, phobias, habits and overeating being on an unconscious level, it stands to reason that they need to be addressed at an unconscious level. This doesn't mean however that you are unconscious during hypnotherapy! The state we enter when using hypnosis is a very natural state for us to be in, where we feel relaxed yet are aware of everything going on around us.
It can be difficult for us to understand the reasons behind the things we do sometimes. The client who is desperate to lose weight feels frustrated with themself when they binge on a whole packet of biscuits with no clue as to why they did it! However, all behaviours created by the unconscious mind have a purpose, even if we're not consciously aware of what that is. A good hypnotherapist will work with you to discover the reasons behind these negative behaviours, using techniques and strategies to encourage the unconscious mind to think about things differently, helping you to enjoy positive changes in your life.
Many people are surprised by the huge variety of areas in which hypnotherapy can be helpful. Most people have heard that it can be effective for smoking cessation and phobias, though many are amazed to find that it can also help with pain control, comfortable birthing and irritable bowel syndrome and much more. Lots of people are also surprised to find that when they seek help from a hypnotherapist for one issue, it has a positive impact on many other areas of their lives. Most hypnotherapists are more than happy to discuss the benefits of hypnotherapy with you and answer any questions you may have prior to booking a session.